Because We Can’t Build It Yesterday

Senate Bill 330

By SCCBC’s new Policy and Programs Intern, Kaia Partlow

The “Housing Crisis Act of 2019” ,introduced by Senator Nancy Skinner on February 19th, 2019, declares a statewide emergency to be in effect until January 1, 2030.

Governor Gavin Newsom has called for the creation of 3.5 million units within the next seven years, whereas California needs to build 180,000 housing units a year to keep up with population growth. Currently, according to the California Department of Housing and Community Development, production has fallen far short, with an average of less than 80,000 new housing units being developed annually over the last 10 years.

In an effort to supply more affordable housing, this act would suspend specific local rules that lengthen the amount of time it takes to process housing permits.

This bill will specifically impact cities and counties with high housing costs and housing shortages.

Substantial Points:

  • “A moratorium on “downzoning” neighborhoods – that is, reducing the number of units that can be built on a parcel – from Jan. 1, 2018 until 2030. (For example, if city already allows a four-unit building on a site, SB 330 would bar a city from reducing that number to three or less.)”
  • “A prohibition on housing moratoriums or the establishment of caps on new housing construction or on building permits and zoning variances from Jan. 1, 2018 until 2030.”
  • “A ban on raising housing fees, increasing or enforcing of parking minimums, or enacting costly design standards.”
  • “A suspension on the collection of housing fees on affordable housing development.”
  • “Banning the demolition of rent-controlled or Section 8 housing”
  • “Eliminates any fees assessed against units that are affordable to households with incomes at or below 80% AMI”
  • “Allowing no more than three public hearings and one year for consideration of a given project”

This bill can be seen as a support to Senator Scott Wiener’s SB 50, which we have previously covered. Both legislations will likely face opposition from local officials in the Bay Area who are against the easing of development restrictions. 

While SB 50 is co-sponsored by State Senators Ben Hueso, Anna Bacallero, Nancy Skinner, and John Moorlach as well as Assemblymembers Autumn Burke, Buffy Wicks, Phil Ting, Ash Kalra, Evan Low, Kevin Riley, and Robert Rivas, SB 330 is likely to gain similar supporters from public officials.


SB 330 is currently in the Government and Finance committee and will proceed to move to the Housing Committee.